Crispy homemade rice paper dumplings are a perfect mix between summer rolls and crispy, pan-fried dumplings. These vegan gluten-free dumplings are filled with a simple yet delicious mixed mushroom and vegetable filling. Rice paper wraps, veggies, garlic, ginger and umami-rich seasoning are all you need to make these easy and delicious rice paper wrapped dumplings!
Homemade Dumplings — easier than you think!
Although there may be a number of steps in this rice paper dumpling recipe, they are really simple and easy to make. The filling comes together in a cinch. The aromatics and mushrooms are first sautéed and then mixed together with the cabbage, carrot and basic seasonings. Ready to go. And then there is just the process of creating small parcels (a.k.a. dumplings) of filling before searing them in the pan. Once you have the basic process down, this goes really quickly. Then all there is left to do is give them a good fry before digging in!
About the ingredients
- Rice paper: You can use any size of rice paper sheets (just adjust the amount of filling in each dumpling). Look for them in well-stocked supermarkets, Asian markets or visit an Asian specialty shop online.
- Aromatics: Ginger, garlic and green onion are great way to amp up on flavor.
- Vegetables: These vegan dumplings are made with a simple mix of vegetables; Chinese cabbage, carrot, cremini and shiitake mushrooms. All classics used in Asian cuisine, which can easily be adapted to include your favourites.
- Seasonings: Sesame oil (adds a little depth of flavor), soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free), sea salt and black pepper. That’s it!
Important tips for making Rice Paper Dumplings
Do not over soak the rice paper:
About 5 seconds is plenty long for softening up the rice paper. It should be bendable but not super soft, otherwise it will stick together and may break or tear when filling or pan frying them. The rice paper continues to soften out of the water.
Make a second layer:
When wrapping the second layer, keep the folded side down so that the thickness of the rice paper it same on both sides. This also helps prevent tearing when frying them.
Don’t over-crowd the pan:
Once soaked, the rice paper will tend to stick when it comes in contact with other rice paper, so you want to avoid that the dumplings touch each other when pan frying (or it may cause tearing when trying to separate them).
Best equipment for frying:
I find it best to use a non-stick skillet or a cast-iron skillet for making pan searing homemade dumplings. Non-stick is great, as you can reduce the amount of oil needed for frying the rice paper dumplings. But if you want to get a really good sear, then a well-seasoned cast iron pan is the way to go. It’ll really give you that golden brown crispy result.
Quick and easy dumplings made with rice paper
Prepare the first dumpling layer – step by step:
Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto the middle of the rice paper in an even rectangular-shaped layer.
Prepare the second dumpling layer – step by step:
Repeat one more time. Place the wrapped dumpling seamed/folded side down so that the thickness of the rice paper is the same on both sides.
Ready for pan frying!
Heat a large non-stick skillet, add a little oil to the pan to coat and once hot, work in batches to fry the dumplings. Voilà!
How to adapt this vegan dumpling recipe
- Try adding a little vegan protein, such as regular or smoked tofu.
- Use a different mix of vegetables. Think spring rolls and try cabbage, mung bean sprouts and carrots.
- Try a different type of mushroom, such as oyster mushrooms.
- Add a little sirachi chill sauce to the filling.
- Serve with a peanut sauce for dipping.
If you like this recipe, try one of these delicious recipes:
- Asian Coleslaw
- Japanese Mushroom Donburi (Rice Bowl)
- Zoodle Ramen Soup (Easy Vegan Recipe)
- Simple Glass Noodle Salad with Vegetables
- Chopped Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing
Rice Paper Dumplings with Vegetable Filling
For the dumplings:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (plus more)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 200 g mushrooms (e.g. mix of 150 g cremini and 50 g shiitake), brushed clean, trimmed and finely chopped
- 100 g Chinese cabbage, shredded
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- pinch of sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 16 rice paper (Ø 22 cm)
- green onion, thinly sliced
- sesame seeds
Ponzu dip for serving:
- 80 ml unseasoned rice vinegar (Japanese)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Prepare the filling:
In a large non-stick skillet pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil over medium to medium-high. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onion and sauté until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the carrot, cabbage, and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool to room temperature before preparing the dumplings.
Prepare the ponzu dip:
In a small bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Set aside.
Prepare the rice paper:
Fill a large bowl with warm-hot water and soak the rice papers for 5 seconds or until just softened. The rice paper will continue to soften seconds, so be careful not to soak it too long. It should be flexible but not completely soft when removing it from the water.
Lift the sheet carefully from water, placing it on your working surface. TIP: Lightly moisten your work surface so that the rice paper sheet doesn’t stick to it. Alternatively, cover a cutting board with a clean tea-towel.
Assemble the dumplings:
Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto the middle of the rice paper in an even rectangular-shaped layer (see pictures above).
Fold the top of the rice paper down, over the filling, followed by the bottom-half and the sides. (Alternatively, start with the top, then the sides and finally the bottom).
Repeat one more time. Place the wrapped dumpling seamed/folded side down so that the thickness of the rice paper is the same on both sides (double wrapping helps avoid tearing when pan-frying the dumplings).
Pan-fry the dumplings:
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little oil to the pan to coat the bottom. Once hot, work in batches to fry the dumplings. IMPORTANT: make sure there is enough space between each dumpling so they don’t stick together and are easier to flip. Cook until golden brown and crispy (3-5 minutes per side). Remove from pan and repeat for the second batch, adding more oil, if needed.
Garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onion. Serve with the ponzu dip on the side. Enjoy!
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